MANILA – The Philippines is experiencing a learning crisis because the government is not spending enough on education, an advocacy group said on Tuesday.
“We are simply not investing enough in education in terms of per capita spending for each student,” Philippine Business For Education executive director Love Basillote told the ANC. “We are not spending as much as comparable economies, not only in the region but also in the world.”
Malnutrition and a lack of pedagogical expertise also affect student learning, Basillote said.
“The learning crisis is really multifaceted,” she added.
According to a World Bank report, around 80% of Filipino students have not reached the minimum proficiency level for their grade level.
The Philippines was ranked last in reading, and second last in science and mathematics, out of 79 countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment.
In the 2019 International Mathematics and Science Study Trends study, the country ranked last in mathematics and science out of 58 countries in the fourth grade assessment.
The Philippines was also in the bottom half of 6 countries for reading, math and writing in Southeast Asia’s primary learning indicators in 2019.
In the interview, Basillote reiterated his call for the reconstitution of an education commission to address the learning crisis in the country.
“EdCom is actually an opportunity for us to zoom out and look at the education system as a whole,” she said. “The idea is that we look at the problems, diagnose the weaknesses and also identify the opportunities for reform and bring all sectors together.”
She also said education should be the top priority for these shooting positions in next year’s polls.
“I think education should be the number one priority for people running for leadership positions in the 2022 national elections,” she said. “Education is really important because we can’t just let our kids fall behind.”
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